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AgustaWestland helicopter of the Indian Air Force

A Supreme Court bench on Thursday (November 16) asked the Chhattisgarh government to produce the original files related to the purchase of AgustaWestland VIP choppers within a week.

The bench also asked the Raman Singh government to clarify why it chose only AgustaWestland helicopters for VVIP movement and “Why was the Chief Secretary’s suggestion to look beyond AgustaWestland helicopter overshadowed by the state government? Was this an informed decision?”

The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocates Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan which claims that the Chief Minister’s son was involved in the case. Allegations of kickbacks to the tune of $ 1.57 million have been made in the Rs 3, 700 crore deal.

The deal has reverberated abroad as well, with Milan Court of Appeal overturning a lower court verdict on April 8, 2016 and convicting AgustaWestland executive Giuseppe Orsi to four years’ imprisonment for paying a €30 million bribe to Indian politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force officials.

Later, on December 9, 2016 the CBI arrested former Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi and his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in the case. The current case is in addition to those already convicted.

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